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Lake Renwick Preserve Heron Rookery Nature Preserve

Preserve History

The 839-acre Lake Renwick Preserve was acquired between 1989 and 2010.

The preserve is part of the Lily Cache Creek preservation system, which conserves approximately 1,000 acres.

A 320-acre portion of the site was dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve in 1992. This dedication provides permanent protection for the natural resources at the preserve.

The Heron Rookery Nature Preserve is one of three access areas to the preserve, with Copley Nature Park and Turtle Lake Access, both in Plainfield, serving as the other entry points.

Hundreds of people visit the Heron Rookery Nature Preserve each year to be dazzled by the nesting herons, egrets and cormorants. Activity doesn't stop when the nesting season ends. Lake Renwick is also a hot spot for bald eagles, American white pelicans and hundreds of winter waterfowl.



Natural Resources

Lake Renwick Preserve protects a 200-acre lake with associated wetland habitat.

Wildlife found at the preserve includes a variety of bird species, such as the great blue heron and great egret. Structures have been built on islands within the lake to provide nesting opportunities for the birds.

Access to the nature preserve is limited on a seasonal basis to protect the nesting activities of migratory birds. During the breeding season from March 1 through mid-August, the preserve is only open for public programs and guided bird viewing as listed in the Event Calendar. The preserve is open from 8 a.m. to sunset from mid-August through February.

The nature preserve is also home to a variety of plant species, including large-leaved pondweed and water stargrass.

The site is managed with monitoring activities and habitat enhancement to protect and enhance its natural resources. Learn more about the District’s land management activities.

Due to the sensitivity of the site's natural resources, dogs are not allowed in the nature preserve. Bicycling and fishing at this preserve are limited to Turtle Lake Access.

Amenities and Activities


The Heron Rookery Nature Preserve features 1.45 miles of crushed limestone trail, ideal for hiking/running.

Wildlife Viewing

The Heron Rookery Nature Preserve features mounted scopes for bird viewing. Learn more about wildlife viewing in the forest preserves.

Visitor Center

The Heron Rookery Nature Preserve features the Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Visitor Center, which is open to the public seasonally for bird viewing programs. 


Lake Renwick Preserve – Heron Rookery Nature Preserve is located on Renwick Road, east of Route 30/Lincoln Highway in Plainfield.





August 16-February 28: 8 a.m.-Sunset.

March 1-August 15: Closed (except for public program dates/times as listed in the Event Calendar). 

Visitor Center

Only open for scheduled public programs as listed on the Event Calendar

On Social Media

Like the Lake Renwick Facebook page to get news updates, photos, videos and information about upcoming programs at this preserve.

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